As I walked out of the hospital, chirping birds heralded the morning and a sky of pink blanketed the crest of the mountains, yet the moon and stars were still visible. My watch read 5:45 a.m. and less than an hour earlier, I had witnessed a new life enter the world.
That was thirteen years ago. His name is Christopher Alan and today he marks his official entrance into the teenage years. He is our daughter's second son, and our middle grandson. He has requested my special chocolate pie for his celebration, which has been postponed until Sunday because his family just got moved in to their new house in Wisconsin yesterday.
It's easy to describe him as joyous. Chris is always the first with a joke, or a pun, or a sarcastic retort, and he is never at a loss for words. When not actually speaking, he uses my magnetic poety, on my fridge, to leave inventive sayings that only he understands. He continually amuses himself by reminding me that he is now taller than I am, he is beginning to shave, and he loves to wear t-shirts with comical sayings such as "I tried to be good, but I got bored."
Funny thing, though - he is good. Maybe that's why the shirt is funny to me. And he and his brother, Alex, bring fun and light and endless memories into our home. And even though I applaud their move to a new and better future 90 minutes away, I will miss them spending every weekend with us. They share their lives and young wisdom, and enrich us in so many ways.
That perfect Virginia dawn seems so long ago. I know I've been lucky to be a continual part of Chris' life until now. And I'm certain that he will share his future with us, and that prospect pleases me.
So, here's my "Happy Birthday, Chris" moment for all the world to see:
Christopher, you never fail to make my day happier, to teach me something, or to strengthen my belief that you have much to give to the world when you grow up. Never doubt your dreams - you will make them realities. I'm sure of it. Grandfather and I love you - and we'll be there Sunday with your birthday pie!